Pro-Abortion Lawmakers Will Take Communion at Thursday Mass With Pope

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 16, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Lawmakers Will Take Communion at Thursday Mass With Pope

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 16
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Several pro-abortion members of Congress say they plan to take communion during a Mass with an expected audience of 45,000 tomorrow led by Pope Benedict XVI. The ceremony will take place at the Washington Nationals Park and 300 priests will be on hand to disseminate the sacrament.

Both the Pope and several leading Catholic bishops in the United States have said pro-abortion politicians should refrain from taking communion.

When he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict weighed in with a clear response to the abortion-communion debate. He wrote that if an elected official is pro-abortion, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.”

And when reporters asked him last year if Catholic bishops in Mexico were right to withhold communion from pro-abortion politicians there, he said yes.

According to a Wednesday AP report, pro-abortion House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is one of several Catholic members of Congress planning to receive communion Thursday.

AP indicated pro-abortion Sen/ John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, and pro-abortion Rep. Jose Serrano of New York were two of the lawmakers expected to attend as well.

In February, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast encouraged elected officials of the Catholic faith to turn from their pro-abortion views if they want to continue receiving communion.

Prendergast said he would first speak with politicians who support abortion and encourage them to convert to the pro-life perspective.

“Given your stubbornness on this particular issue, you should not publicly receive the Eucharist until you’ve changed your mind," he said.

In January, Saint Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus was wrong to make pro-abortion comments while attending a rally for pro-abortion presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Burke told the Post-Dispatch he would deny the coach communion because his views on abortion and human life are so far out of step with the Catholic Church.